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Grateful Dead Live at Worcester Polytechnic Institute on 1970-05-09


Topics Live concert


Deep Elem Blues, Friend Of The Devil, Silver Threads, Black Peter


Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Location Worcester, MA

Source Soundboard
Lineage SBD > MR > ? > DAT > CDR > EAC > SHN
Transferred by Matt Vernon, Raoul Duke, and JCotsman

Notes

Acoustic Set. These opening songs are all that are known to exist from this show.

--unknown lineage; SBD is degraded
--some mix problems with panning back and forth between channels
--unknown harmonica player throughout; reportedly Pigpen by deadlists, though the style is quite different, possible Will Scarlet
--digisnit @ 4:57 in Deep Elem
--Sound Forge was used to normalize and correct the pitch

Reviews

Reviewer: N Hoey - - July 10, 2014
Subject: Sdbd?
I'm not convinced this is sdbd recording, and even if it was, the quality is poor enough that for it to be stream only seems silly. Anything that might ever see release from this show would have to be far superior and this wouldn't compete in the slightest. This sounds more like a microphone tape from right in close to the stage. The sound of the applause at the end of the songs just doesn't quite seem sound board to me, that and the way the vocal peaks overloading sound like an auto level control portable. It was able to handle the sound pressure levels of the acoustic set but probably got way overloaded and blown out by the electric set, which is a likely reason why it doesn't also circulate.

I'd call it a relaxed and intimate performance, not at all tired. This college tour in spring 1970 was one great show after another. This period after recording Workingmans Dead and leading into the sessions for American Beauty is possibly Jerry's greatest period. He's 27, he's playing acoustic electric and pedal steel night after night, great songs are being written, great performances are happening,His physical abilities are at their peak, too bad more good tapes don't exist from this time.

Near the end of Black Peter the organ joins in even as the harmonica plays but the harmonica soon disappears so maybe Pig began playing the organ with one hand before putting down the harmonica. The way it comes in also sounds more like a microphone recording too, it doesn't sound like a line fed signal being added to the mix. 5 star performance and 2.5 star sound.
I'm giving it 4.

Edit 5/10/2012. Listened again. This is NOT a sdbd. The vocals are not close miked line sourced. No Way. They are ambient.
Reviewer: light into ashes - - January 15, 2013
Subject: misdated tape - this is actually 5/3/70
Wesleyan University has a partial video of the 5/3/70 show:
http://archive.org/post/539606/5-3-70-wesleyan-video-and-sbd-tape

A comparison with the video revealed some surprising things about this tape - it's not from Worcester at all, but from the 5/3/70 acoustic set.

On the 5/3/70 video, Weir can be seen saying that Phil & Mickey are still on their way from upstate New York, as he says here.
The unknown harmonica player is also on the video, which shows him playing in Deep Elem Blues & Silver Threads. (Those are the only two acoustic songs on the video.)

Also note the announcement at the end, about the free food running out at the first-aid station. The first-aid station is also mentioned on the video, and on the 5/3/70 audience tape. That show was also notable for free food being brought to the audience by the Hog Farm & other associations.

So I think it's beyond doubt that this tape is misdated. It does sound like an SBD to me, but it was recorded outdoors on a hasty stage setup; the audience does not sound 'indoors.' I wish we knew how this fragment got into circulation under the wrong date, and why it cuts off so soon.

Sadly, this means there is no available recording of 5/9/70.

By the way - KENNYBEE - who wrote a review back in 2010, wrote that he & a friend taped this show on cassette: "Have a lousy recording of some of these songs...cassette audio was overloaded and really awful."

Kennybee, if you're still out there, please post on the Dead forum here. Some of us would be interested in knowing what's on that tape!
Reviewer: njpg - - May 10, 2012
Subject: Good.
Short acoustic set.
Reviewer: ihrescue - - January 19, 2011
Subject: Stripped
It is rare that you will hear this level of pureness from Jerry. He is in his folk element, strong, clear voice. Good cover of Linda's STGN. This is a real treat for a Dead fan.
Reviewer: KENNYBEE - - November 16, 2010
Subject: GRATEFUL DEAD - ONE LONG NIGHT
I attended this show and have a few photos taken
with a 126 camera and the 4-sided flashcubes. was there with a bunch of friends really down close enough to spit onstage - a friend recorded onto a portable cassette recorder- but would not want to brag about the sound quality. Concert was
essentially in a gymnasium - Harrington auditorium it was called - we sat on the floor
on canvas tarps and Jerry and Bob opened up doing
acoustic songs - Monkey and Engineer and I do remember pigpen being there. Electric new riders came out after that - Jerry on steel - did Cold Jordan and others - have a lousy recording of some of these songs too - after a break that seemed like an hour to us - Electric dead came out and were loud - cassette audio was overloaded and really awful - I remember I think
JOHN DAWSON holding up a joint onstage as long as 2 rolling papers together at least - Jerry in a tie-dyed violet tee shirt and at 2 am we hit the streets to walk home - way too late to call the parents for a ride, no security, lotsa reefer and laid-back show - my ticket stub says
2.50 price of admission - a good night but god-
40 years ago???? can't be, kennybee
Reviewer: Lee H - - October 13, 2010
Subject: Deep Ellum Blues
Yes, it's a muddy recording, but it's nice to hear... It sounds like folks sitting on the front porch playing acoustic music.

Maybe you could have a tech person run this through some Auto-Tune to fix all the mistakes and totally ruin the recording.
Reviewer: hampton87 - - May 10, 2010
Subject: black peter
is unique and worth a listen...yes, it is a poor recording but with just jerry palying and pig backing up with the mouth harp it sure seems like a one of a kind performance...a piece of history forty years ago today
Reviewer: G.Dadams - - January 3, 2010
Subject: I was at this show
Was not at this show..Was the one the year before

http://www.archive.org/details/gd69-04-20.sbd.lutch.4992.sbeok.shnf
Reviewer: biglouie358 - - March 24, 2009
Subject: Is foot really alive?
I dont think so, the playing here is a little tired and just doesn't have anything unique to offer. That and the sound is too much. Try 1-02-1970 or 5-16-1970 and youll see what i mean
Reviewer: FootAlive! - - January 28, 2009
Subject: Come on KIDS!!!
The past reviewers must be kids!

This is an awsome lineup!.. A great acoustic set. So it is a little hissy. Man, get past that and enjoy the great music.

It is true it is a littel hissy and a short set, but it deserves at leat a 4.
Reviewer: scarletbegonia07 - - January 10, 2008
Subject: Thanks for posting it
Getting to listen to them from that time period is great. Thanks for posting. Any Dead is better than no Dead. And considering what might have been used to record this, I'm glad it's around.
Reviewer: Mitch Gilbert - - June 4, 2007
Subject: Saw a poster for this show this weekend
The Grateful Dead and The Kinks!
Reviewer: kingdork - - May 20, 2006
Subject: Why can't you download it?
I can.

2 out of 5
Reviewer: DEADBUCK - - May 9, 2006
Subject: that being said....
Im glad we cant DL it....
Reviewer: capn doubledose - - August 31, 2005
Subject: Sound quality awful
Saturated, hissy sound , & undistinguished performance + it's short.
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